‘What makes character?’ – Well dear reader that is the question that singer-songwriter Rachael Sage has used as the theme for her new record ‘Character’. Starting with the softly-sung ‘Blue Sky Days’, Sage’s voice has a rich texture that welcomes the listener to sit down and experience her journey.
‘Bravery’s On Fire’ has Rachael Sage admitting “just a person struggling in her skin” which is a feeling which has been experienced by people from all backgrounds and walks of life. She then treats us to a version of the popular CSNY track ‘Ohio’ which is one of the greatest protest songs ever written imho. Her voice is steeped in sentiment as she sings “Four dead in Ohio” and given the current racial tensions and overall political climate it is as poignant as ever.
If you enjoy your electronic pop then look no further with the next track ‘Atmosphere’ which is driven by keyboards and is not dissimilar to classic Howard Jones in both style and production. The tender ‘When I was Young’ is a vocal highlight with her being accompanied by a lovely cello and it proves that the uncomplicated approach is sometimes the best approach.
The record concludes with Catch the Light’ which began as music written by Rachael as an instrumental for a performance in 7th grade at the age of eleven. Then whilst looking at school memorabilia in her adult years, she was able to add lyrics as she played the tune on her keyboard.
This album was created during a time when Rachael Sage was undergoing treatment following a cancer diagnosis and whilst it deals with the powder keg of emotions that come with that news it is also an album of hope and perseverance. This is an album Rachael Sage needed to make as a form of therapy and hopefully others will appreciate its core message.